Friday, November 25, 2005

Footsteps, Part 7-Final (Fiction)

(Just joining us? Go back to Part 1)

       Melissa tumbled in the midst of chaos. The thunder of feet shattered her ears and trampled the screams which tore from her throat.
       A giant mallet flattened her body. Her vision went transparent. She saw the ceiling, and all other sensations were erased.
       Then, like an avalanche, the roar returned.
       Another blow crunched her body. Again, silence floated across the ceiling. Again, the hellish onslaught returned.

       "Negative on a rhythm."
       "God damn it! Recharge!"
       "No pulse."
       "Negative on a rhythm."

       Blurs shimmered in all corners of Melissa's vision. Legs, she thought. Whirling and whirling. Like a monstrous tide, the weight of sound piled until her bones cracked. Her unending scream drained the last wisp of her breath, yet her body still squeezed as if trying expel the very blood the air would feed.
       Then, the slow pound of a stride shook the foundations of the hospital. Coming deep from where the hallways led, a colossal force was coming. Melissa's perception polarized on the approach. Each impact popped her bed from the floor. The curtains swayed.
       Coming. Coming.
       The universe buckled under the last blow outside the door.

       "Charge is up!"
       The debrillator clicked, and Melissa jumped in the bed. Strange how the machine could command her muscles when her brain could not.

       A supernova of white detonated. In the sudden hush, footsteps swept into the room no longer terrifying, but small and comforting. Still bathed in the brilliance, Melissa met them and merged. She felt the crunch of the tiles beneath her toes. The fear had fled. The footsteps had always been hers.
       Dancing, spinning, she exalted in the feel of living legs so quickly forgotten. The thrill sizzled over her awakened skin, and she ran just to feel the air divide.

       Mrs. Carr sank to the floor when the frenzy in the room paused, then soured to defeat. Her body shook with the knowledge her daughter was gone.
       But then, a sound.
       A quick flutter of feet.
       She looked overhead, then gasped through the sobs. Footprints on the ceiling. She felt the fragrant breeze, reminiscent of her daughter's perfume. It swirled around her, then washed back into the room. Mrs. Carr peered around the jamb. Melissa passed over the bowed heads and leapt over the curtain rod into the fierce morning light.
       As the gentle swish of the curtains settled, Mrs. Carr's wonder tipped into a pained, but unstoppable smile. She remembered how the rich fields bellowed pollen when Melissa ran.
       She heard a last echo of laughter as Melissa soared.
       And the eternal sunrise sparkled through the depths of her tears.

Back to Part 6


Mary Louisa said...

I have tears in my eyes. What great work you have done. I'll just pause and let it sink in for a while.

jason evans said...

Mary Louisa, thank you. I had tear in my eyes when I wrote it. I'm not sure everyone will find the end satisfying, but I thought it was an interesting concept for Melissa's premonitions of death to be based on the very thing she's lost--her mobility and freedom.

Bernita said...

Dammit, I wanted a miracle.
I suppose this was the most your rationality would accept? This "come away, o human child?"
Nicely done though, Jason.
"The rich fields bellowed pollen.." is excellent.

Terri said...

Beautiful! I didn't want her to die but now I'm glad she did.
I'm sitting here with a goofy, "aaah!" smile on my face.
Really... beautiful.

Farzad said...

I didn't expect she's gonna die. I thought you might twist the story to another direction, but I was wrong again!
I wish you would have stretched it a bit longer, coz I really got hooked on this baby.
I can't really say that I'm glad it’s over!
Anyway, I'm gonna wait for another story... meaning, don't sit around doing nothing about it... meaning, write another one!
It seems like you gonna be a lawyer who is a writer too after all. And that by itself is a lifetime achievement. Well done Jason, well done!
I also got two links for you if you're interested to write a script for it and send it off. You never know, there are producers out there interested in new material.

Kara Alison said...

Jason, great ending. It's happy yet still very very creepy. I read this late last night and had to run to my bedroom because of a severe case of the heebie jeebies. It's great how you combined those two emotions (joy and fear). Awesome.

Jeff said...

jason- well done :)

Kelly Parra said...

Wow, Jason, a very satisfying ending. Great job!

jason evans said...

Bernita, I'm afraid you have me pegged. Not much a miracle man. Thanks for the compliments despite the disappointment!

Terri, yes, I do think Melissa is happier. I'm glad you enjoyed the story. :)

Farzad, I will definitely do another story. Just give me a little time for inspiration to strike. I appreciate all of your encouragement. It motivates me. And I'll be certain to check out those links you shared.

Kara, isn't it odd how these characters become quasi-real? I was genuinely sad when she died, especially for her mother left behind.

Jeff, thanks for the thumbs up!

Kelly, glad you liked the ending. I wasn't sure how it was going to be received.

anne said...

Brilliant. :)

LiVEwiRe said...

You know how I tell you that you always seem to have the 'right' thing to say? Well, my aunt passed away today and reading this, especially the end made me feel so much better. You have an incredible way with words. Wonderful ending for this piece.

jason evans said...

Anne, thanks!

Livewire, I'm very sorry about your aunt. And I'm humbled if something I've written gave you some peace. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Robin Caroll said...

Loved it! Great job!

jason evans said...

Robin, thank you! And thanks for visiting. Hope to see you often. I'm dropping in over at your blog now....

Luke said...

Masterfully done ... Exquisite.